Arizona Coyotes Goaltending Situation


The goalie position has always been one the Arizona Coyotes have struggled with. With trades, injuries, slumps and mental breakdowns, its one of the Coyotes weakest points.

Last season the Arizona Coyotes hit a rough patch when starting goalie Mike Smith was out for roughly 3 months after completing abdominal surgery.

Later that season he was followed to the press box by Anders Lindback who tore his Achilles tendon.

The injuries left backup goalie Louis Domingue in the lime light.

Louis had a decent season putting up a .912 SV% and a 2.75 goals against average. Domingue was named NHL’s Rookie of the Month in January when he went 6-3-2 and had a .925 save percentage.

His work in 2015-16 impressed the coaching staff enough that the Coyotes extended him a 2-year contract over the summer.

Over the summer fans waited anxiously to see what would happen with our goalie situation. The Arizona Coyotes have a history of short relationships with goalies.

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Like Devan Dubnyk, for example, who was with the team for only six months and posted a 9-5-2 record.

The franchise also had Thomas Greiss who signed a 1-year deal with the Coyotes and played 25 games. He had a 2.25 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He was not re-signed at the end of the 2013-4 season.

With Louis Domingue’s summer signing and Smith’s contract not ending till the 2018-19 season, its hard to decide who to stay loyal to.

The Young Gun or the Veteran Starter?

Should it be Domingue, who stepped up and played a huge role with the Coyotes when Smith was out?

Or perhaps Mike Smith? He was part of the Coyotes success in reaching the Western Conference finals in 2012. He’s been the starting goalie for us for 5 years and he’s even a goal scorer.

Mike Smith has been to the Olympics, and won Gold for Canada in the 2015 World Championships. He has an impressive resume behind him.

Fans struggle trusting Smith because of his instability and ability to maintain composure. Meanwhile, Domingue is not as experienced. He hasn’t been to the playoffs or experienced “playoff hockey” style play.

Louis Domingue

Louis stepped into a tough position and held his own, quickly establishing himself and producing an impressive campaign.

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Domingue kept his composure for most goals against him, not making a scene. Louis also allowed our defenseman and offence to focus on their positions, allowing better game play.

The team trusted him and fed off of his composure.

Domingue was a solid goaltender as a rookie, imagine where he could reach after getting more experience. He is also a pretty popular with fans.

Why not Mike Smith?

Mike Smith has not been the same since the 2012 Playoffs.

Smith hasn’t put up numbers or sniffed a season like that since.

Battling with injuries, mind games and losing his touch, Smith continued having emotional fits on the ice which have made things awkward for the fans and players.

Last season, Mike Smith was placed on injured reserve by the Coyotes for with a core muscle injury. This comes after the goaltender was already struggling with groin and lower body injuries in recent years.

After the time off, Smith came back with a whole new mindset and view of the game which excited fans. However, even with his strong return Mike Smith is not the same goaltender we saw years ago.

With that said, the Coyotes cannot discredit Mike Smith’s skill and veteran experience.

Next: Every Coyotes Goaltender In Franchise History

Louis Domingue will grow, along with the prospect goaltenders on our affiliate teams. In the interim, Mike Smith’s contract ensures he will remain a significant part of this team moving forward.

The Arizona Coyotes organization has their work cut out for them this season on deciding who gets the nod to start, and who doesn’t.